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NYSDOL Issues Updated Regulations for State WARN Act

The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has issued final updated regulations on the implementation of the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. These updated regulations are meant to help bring the WARN Act up to modern standards, as laid out in the update to the Act that was originally passed in 2021. This is especially important given the substantial changes that have occurred in the workforce over the past few years.

 

What is the WARN Act? In simple terms, the New York State WARN Act is a state law that requires employers with fifty or more full-time employees to give suitable advance notice for any mass layoffs or reductions in employee work hours. In most cases, this means that an affected employee must be notified at least ninety days in advance if they are going to be laid off or have their work hours reduced as part of a mass reduction in force. In addition, certain government agencies must be notified of any plans for said layoffs when they are announced. Why Does the WARN Act Exist? The purpose of the WARN Act is to give employees the opportunity to find other work in the event that they face unemployment or reduced employment as a result of an employer’s reduction in force. Before the WARN Act was passed, it was commonplace for employees to discover they, and many of their coworkers, had suddenly lost their jobs through no fault of their own. As a result, they were left without an opportunity to find new employment, increasing their financial strain and making it harder to find a job, especially if they were competing against many of their now-unemployed peers. What Do the Updates to the WARN Act Do? The new regulations passed by the NYSDOL help to address concerns about the WARN Act that have become more relevant in the past few years. For example, it updates definitions on the Act to include full-time employees who work remotely as part of meeting the Act’s minimum requirements, and adds new information that must be included as part of the notice to employees. It also adds some protections for employers due to unforeseeable business circumstances, including in the event of a pandemic or terrorist attack. What Should You Do if You Are Fired or Laid Off Without Warning? If you work for an employer covered by the WARN Act and you find yourself suddenly laid off without warning, you may be entitled to compensation. However, to know what legal rights you may have, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling labor law violations. They can help you to go over your options, and ensure you get the justice you rightly deserve. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or stevensackatty@hotmail.com.

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